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Direct Democracy takes off at European level

Water is a human right  Brussels, Jan. 30.─ With more than 800 000 signatures collected as of today, the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) 'Water is a Human Right' most likely is to become the first European Citizens' Initiative to reach one million signatures. This is the necessary amount for a citizen proposal to be considered by the European Commission as a piece of law citizens want to see realised in the EU.

Since the beginning of this year tens of thousands of Europeans have increasingly signed the citizens' initiative, which aims at implementing water and sanitation as a human right and providing water as a public good by keeping it out of the internal market rules. The numbers jumped up while the European Commission proposed draft legislation that aims at granting public bodies the right to tender public services to private businesses, including water distribution ("Directive on Concessions").


"This is a critical moment as the European Union once again struggles to establish a modern representative democracy based on the rule of law, the delegation of powers and citizens' participation", says Bruno Kaufmann, President of the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe. "The European Citizens' Initiative now is in a dynamic working mode, so we can take a step from theory to practice of transnational democracy", adds Kaufmann.


The Initiative and Referendum Institute, Democracy International and numerous activists throughout Europe transformed an early input by the citizens´ network "eurotopia" in 1991 into a broad campaign that started at the beginning of the new millennium. The European Citizens' Initiative became part of the Constitutional Treaty in 2003 and the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 ...

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